• synonyms


  1. eerie; weird; spooky.
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Also el·drich; el·ritch [el-rich] /ˈɛl rɪtʃ/.

Origin of eldritch

1500–10; earlier elrich, equivalent to Old English el- foreign, strange, uncanny (see else) + rīce kingdom (see rich); hence “of a strange country, pertaining to the Otherworld”; compare Old English ellende in a foreign land, exiled (cognate with German Elend penury, distress)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for eldrich

Historical Examples of eldrich

  • The little man laughed a little laugh, sharp and eldrich, at the strange cowardice of the stalwart dare-devil.

    What Will He Do With It, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • In one of their walks, which had been protracted more than usual, they were returning homewards by the Eldrich Stone.

  • She did it with a look of hesitation and bashfulness, quite unlike the eldrich boldness and brightness which was usual with her.

    Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Harriet Beecher Stowe

  • You cannot imagine what a weird effect these eldrich bushes had upon my mind.

British Dictionary definitions for eldrich



  1. poetic, Scot unearthly; weird
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Word Origin for eldritch

C16: perhaps from Old English ælf elf + rīce realm; see rich
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for eldrich



c.1500, apparently somehow from elf (cf. Scottish variant elphrish), an explanation OED finds "suitable;" Watkins connects its elements with Old English el- "else, otherwise" and rice "realm."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper